Title: Once & Future #1
Words: Kieron Gillen
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
Published: August 14, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: “When a group of Nationalists use an ancient artifact to bring a villain from Arthurian myth back from the dead to gain power, ex-monster hunter Bridgette McGuire escapes her retirement home and pulls her unsuspecting grandson Duncan, a museum curator, into a world of magic and mysticism to defeat a legendary threat. Bestselling writer Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine, Star Wars) and Russ Manning Award-winning artist Dan Mora (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Klaus) explore the mysteries of the past, the complicated truths of our history and the power of family to save the day…especially if that family has secret bunkers of ancient weapons and decades of experience hunting the greatest monsters in Britain’s history!”
A mysterious death at the hands of a sinister organization, an old woman with secrets, and an innocent drawn into a dangerous world he knew nothing about begins Once & Future, a story with one foot in legend and the other fraught with the struggles of the here and now.
Climate and political upheaval are merely set dressing for a truly epic tale that spans millennia. The original Arthurian legends were always darker and more complex than any modern adaptation would lead people to believe, but this one is different. Beyond allegory and Lit class analysis, there was some scary stuff going on, and that’s what made it fun.
Kieron Gillen clearly knows that, and has produced a cleverly crafted reimagining of the old tales that is a sort of rebuttal to the watered down versions done in a way that does justice to the old, but still manages to make the familiar feel fresh. I have to say the kick-ass granny is both hilarious and terrifying, but all in the best possible ways. I just wish she had used the rocket launcher.
The Bottom Line
Once & Future is unlike any other Arthurian Legend, and adds a level of intrigue and suspense to a modern retelling that is thrilling from the very beginning.